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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  October 18, 2009 7:00am-7:30am EDT

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the empty balloon. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews. in los angeles. leading off, was it a hoax? there were so many. first why did that 6-year-old boy say on tv, quote, you guys said that we did this for a show. and why did the father call a tv station before he called 911? the sheriff's office now investigating the family. at the top of the show tonight, a woman who spent time with the family on the show "wife swap."
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also president obama is visiting texas a&m today and the tea party activists don't like it. they're making a lot of noise about it, they're asking why he's so angry. also, who are these right-winged activists anyway? we have the results of a new study by a democrat leading pollster that looks at what really motivates them. is it about race, or sit about something more complicated? the answer may surprise you. you may disagree with the answer. also does the president benefit from being seen in a non-partisan or by partisan sitting. check out for that examination. and what do you say to a child who asks you why do people hate you? the question was put to president obama, and we'll show you his charming answer in the hard ball side show tonight.
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let's start with the latest on the bizarre balloon flight in colorado. nbc's leanne gregg is with us from the family's house in fort collins. lean leanne, i guess it comes down to how you hear something. this kid on television the other night said, quote -- when asked about it, he said, you guys -- well, you guys said we did this for a show. does that mean that the kid was part of a pr campaign? let's take a look at it. you watch it first. >> falcon, did you hear us calling your name at any time? >> hmm? you did? >> you did? >> why didn't you come out? >> um, you guys said that we did this for the show. >> man. you didn't come out? >> no. >> everyone stormed up there.
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>> well, leanne, that's a tough thing to report but i guess that's the meat of this story so far, that little kid's answer. >> reporter: right. the sheriff's department says that's why they plan on reinterviewing the family. they were going do it today but falcon is sick today. he threw up on the "today" show. his parents are exhausted. a few minutes ago someone stuck a hand out the door and stuck a note on the door. it says thanks for your support. we're not doing any more interviews. we're tired. thank you. signed the heenes. the interview is expected to take place tomorrow. the sheriff says he doesn't think it's a hoax. their reaction is consistent with a family who's trauma advertised. they really thought their child floated away on a balloon. if it turns out to be a hoax, serious consequences for the
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family. but right now they really don't think so. >> what about the fact we have that the father -- we saw him in the clip there, we're looking at him, called the faa, he called the local tv station in addition to the faa before he bothered to go around and call 911. i don't know if you call 911 when someone's flying up in a balloon, whether the police can be of any help anyway, but what do the reporters make of the time sequence t? >> reporter: the sheriff himself thought it was odd. he put it into context. that richard heene was a scientist. he was thinking the faa controls the sky, so that would be the first call. he knew that kusa, the local nbc affiliate had a helicopter and that would be an appropriate call, to ask them to search for his child. so about 20 minutes later he did call 911. you can hear on the tapes that were released today that the parents were frantic and sounded like it was sincere.
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>> what about calling the local tv station before calling 911? >> reporter: well, that is a little bit odd, but, again, they have the helicopter. and he was asking them to help in the search for the child. so i don't know. it does seem a little strange. but everyone who knows this family agrees that they're not exactly mainstream. they are a little bit strange. >> okay. let's talk about why the police are involved. what is the legal ramifications if a hoax becomes a possibility or plausability here? >> reporter: well, they could be charged. they could be asked to offset the expenses. the larimer county sheriff's office alone had 80 people involved in the search. there were horses -- police on horses looked. there were two different helicopters. they called in the national guard. they were supporting with helicopters in the air. this was a big search, very expensive, a lot of trouble. there could be financial burden as well as some charges.
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>> do you have any other information as to why the kid would be hiding in the attic during that whole kerfuffle we were involved in back in washington yesterday? as we were on the air, we were all trying to figure out where's the kid, where's the kid. he was up in the attic. any explanation why he was up there all day, all those hours? >> reporter: so far just speculation, and the sheriff says it makes sense that the child was scared. he was afraid if he came out, he'd get into trouble. he heard all the can commotion and he wanted to duck it, get out of the way. >> okay. leanne, thanks so much for joining us tonight on this strange story. sherry spent time with richard heene. scherry, what can you tell us about this family? we had a stray reporter leanne gregg say they're a bit different. what do you know about the nature of the idiosyncrasies of
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this family, the heene family? >> well, richard heene is a scientist, and there's not too many scientists that are self-proclaimed scientists in this world. so everything he does is extreme. so when he makes something, it costs him a lot of money to make it and he puts a big production with everything he does. his heart is in the right place with what he wants to do with his science experiments. so basically how he reacts as a person and how extreme he is and how off the wall he is with his emotions is all part of his character and his obsession with science. >> is he's kwally obsessed with publicity? does he like to get on television? does he like to get press attention? >> definitely. he needs press attention to get b able to do the work he wants to do because it costs a lot of
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money to buy the science experiments. this is his main work. he does the science. only by having publicity and support and wanting to help the people with what you're doing can you do what you need to do. so, yeah, he loves being on tv, but not for fame's sake. i don't think just to be famous. i think it's about him being able to do what he wants to do. >> let's get back to the heart of the question. here's what the father, mr. richard heene said on thursday night, last night, when he was asked what he meant when he said, quote, we did this for a show. let's listen. >> i'm kind of appalled after all of the feelings that i went through, up and down, that you guys are trying to suggest something else, okay? i'm really appalled. well, you know, we were on "wife swap" a couple of times. the camera crew's out there. i would imagine they would ask me a couple of questions in reference to this. and i believe, you know, it may
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have had something to do with that. >> what do you make of that, sheree? >> you know, the little boy tended to do things like -- of the extreme. and i do feel that he definitely was referred to a show. but richard is doing so many shows. he was going to video this whole thing going up anyway, otherwise he wouldn't have put the helium in it. he was planning on the press seeing the machine go up. but i don't really believe he was planning on saying or purposely saying his son was in there. so the son might have been thinking as far as the show, because richard is probably going to put it on his website and webcam and all that stuff. so it's very possible he meant the show, but not in the context of, you know, for a show, kind of thing. >> okay. so just -- so to be fair to all,
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you don't believe there was any attempt to fake the kid being up in the flight to get press attention, is that what you're saying? >> no. no. i don't think richard is capable of being that extreme of making all of america think that something is going to happen to his child. that is just -- he may be weird and he may be strange and he may do way out things in his personality, but that's something else. it takes a different kind of person to do something like that. >> yeah. i think it takes a very bad person. thank you very much, sheree silver, for your personal experience. coming up, president obama is heading down texas a&m. the tea party doesn't like him consorting. what's behind this? apaushlgtly these people thing that george herbert walker bush was the beginning of the problem. are they mad about taxes, big government? they're mad at everything
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welcome back to hard back. president bush is at college station tonight with bush 41. how will the bipartisan buddy show square with the folks down there? let's talk with phillip dennis, an organize over the texas tea party patriots. phil, i really want to hear from you. what you do you make of the president, president obama meeting one former president george herbert walker bush at texas a&m tonight? what do you think of that? >> well, president bush can invite whoever he wants to texas a&m and he has done so. he has a history of hanging out with bill clinton. so it is his discretion to do so. >> what is your feeling about it? >> personally, i'm neither here nor there about whether president bush associates with president obama or anyone else. that's his right to do so.
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and i mean i have friends that don't agree with me politically. so that has nothing to do with the matter. i think what people are protesting down in college station today is president obama's politics. and we're not pleased with what he's doing politically in washington, d.c. >> okay. let's get to politics in texas. governor rick perry has been elected a couple. times. governor rick perry of texas. >> we're still part of the union down here in texas, and our folks would like to keep it that way, but we see some things going on that are peculiar. they're frustrating. and i think the texans, you know, we're independent a lot. and we'd just as soon washington not be mortgaging our kids' futures and ours for that matter. >> here he is a couple days later.
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governor perry on the issue. >> texas is a unique place. when we came in the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that. >> my hope is that america and washington in particular pays attention. we've got a great union. there's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. but if washington continues to thumb their nose at the american people, you know, who knows what may come out of that. >> well, phillip, that's strange talk for a guy like me. i grew up in pennsylvania. i never heard talk like that. what does that do you to you when you hear talk like that? >> well, it's election time. >> is he a nut case? is he okay? is he on the level when he says secession, does he mean it? >> personally, i believe he was patronizing people, something people wanted to hear. i can speak for the dallas tea party, which is one of the larger tea party groups in the country.
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we do not advocate secession. we've lost a couple of elections. we're not talking about seceding from the country. >> well, he was doing this at a tea party event. you say he was patronizing. was he patronizing your crowd? i'm asking who he is talking to here. it sounds crazy to me. you say it doesn't sound like anything more than politics but what is he talking about and what is your reaction to that? >> my reaction is i disagree with that. politicians say a lot of things and do another. we see that all the time. i think the tea party movement he was speaking at when he said those things was organized by the republican party which does not take place in about 99.99% of the country. in fact, that group now has been disbanded. so we do not allow politicians, elected politicians or people who have announced they're running for office to speak to the tea party movement. >> i see. what do you make of those six texas congressmen who are birthers?
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they have real questions about barack obama's being an american. >> well, i think we have a lot bigger fish to fry than that. >> isn't that not one of your fish? is that not one of your fish? >> no. it is not one of my fish. my fish is fiscal responsibility. that's the fish of the group that i represent. we're te we're we are fiscal conservatives. that's what we are calling on both parties, republicans and democrats who have not acted responsibly in spending our country's money. >> who did you vote for for president in 2004? >> i voted against president obama and held my nose to vote for someone that i do not particularly care for. >> no. 2000. i'm sorry, mr. dennis. in 2000, not 2004. >> in 2000, i voted for president bush. >> bush doubled the national debt. doubled it. he spent $700 billion bailing out wall street. he bailed out aig. when you did you discover that you were concerned about fiscal responsibility?
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was it after a democrat was elected president? >> absolutely. >> and where were you when bush was doing all this stuff? >> what we were not doing is sending money to the rnc anymore and we were not voting for republicans. and that's what happened. >> you re-elected the giechlt you re-elected bush. >> i didn't vote for them last time. and i didn't support what he does and i'm not a fan. did he some good things with cutting the taxes and keeping us safe, but i'm totally against what republicans did, spending money in washington, d.c., when they were in power, and that's why they find themselves in the minority. well, let's go through that. let's do some serious work here for a minute. the republican president, george w. bush. i agree you. but i thought he was doing a great job after 9/11 for a while. i thought going after bin laden was dynamite, and i was with the 90%. let's go get the bastard. i'm all for that. never vetoed a single spending bill by the republican president. where you were you each time he didn't veto?
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he let them spend the money on the pork and the ear marks and all that crap. where were you? were you out there marching? holding tea party meetings? >> no, we weren't at that point because we were getting extremely ticked off and we were not supporting the republican party and we were not sending our money to the republican party. and we still are not doing so. and so -- let me make this straight because i know where you're going at with this, chris, and it's not fair. president bush, as bad as he was, in terms of the deficit, president obama in six months, quadrupled the deficit with an $800 billion stimulus bill that quadrupled the debt. that was, in my opinion, the straw that broke the cam elise back, and they did that without even reading it. now, if our politicians that we send to washington, d.c., do not take the oath of office strong enough to read the bills they signed, we need to bring them home, republicans and democrats.
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>> the difference is between bush and obama. is that when bush came in, up next, president obama told a 9-year-old who asked the president why do people hate you? that's next on the side show. for a red irritated nose try puffs plus... with lotion and a touch of shea butter. it's more soothing than plain tissue, why use any other? a nose in need, deserves puffs plus indeed.
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back to "hardball." a telling moment in new orleans yesterday. it starts with a 9-year-old's question at the president's town hall. [ inaudible ] >> that's what i'm talking about.
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i did get elected president, so not everybody hates me. one party feels like thigh need to poke me a little bit to keep me on your toes, so you shouldn't take it too seriously. and then sometimes, as i said before, people just, i think they're worried about their own lives. a lot of people are losing their jobs right now. a lot of people are losing their health care or they lost their homes and they're feeling frustrated, and when you're the president of the united states, you know, you've got to deal with all of that. that's exactly right. >> i think sometimes this president gives a better case for the other side than the other side does for itself. pretty impressive, that 9-year-old. he's going to remember that moment for as long as he lives. speaking of the opposition out here rar, heare rkar, hear's a
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you. sarah palin's op ed in the conservative magazine national review. it makes a push for domestic oil drilling and includes a not so subtle callout to the president. "there's no getting around the fact we still need to drill baby drill. if those in d.c. say otherwise, we need to tell them yes, we can." that's the old fight sigh of barack obama. anyway, she's running and she could win. she could win by the way. who knows what will happen next time around. there is no denying this candidate, sarah palin, has the sizzle. now for the big numbers. over seas wars are expensive, especially in places like afghanistan. well, the country has no sea ports, not enough airports, and ours are in remote areas. so consider this from the pentagon. how much is spent -- you won't forget this number -- an average gallon of gas for our soldiers there in afghanistan? $400 a gallon. about $100 times what it costs here, 100 times what it costs here if you figure $4 for a gallon. i guess it is for regular.
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maybe it's for premium. $400 a gallon to put gas in the jeeps over there in the tanks, et cetera, et cetera. tonight's unbelievably big number. that's "hardball for now. coming up, "your business." so is campbell's healthy request soup. low in fat and cholesterol, heart healthy levels of sodium, and taste you'll love. chef: we're all kind of excited about it. guy: mmm! i can see why. announcer: campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good! for your heart.
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